Feeding warm food in the mornings

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by shetoe, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. shetoe

    shetoe Out Of The Brooder

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    If I feed warm oatmeal,soups,noodles etc.... on cold mornings to my girls when do I feed them there regular grains. Right after? Wait a few hours? I am a newbie to raising chickens.Got my first in May of last year(2013).Thanks for any help or answers that come my way.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    A lot of people feed oatmeal in the morning. Make sure those warm morning things are not detracting from the actual nutrition the chickens need. The oatmeal would replace the scratch grains. The noodles don't add much. They could be too much salt, too low in protein and little in the way of vitamins. Grains and treats should be no more than 10% of the diet. After you learn more about chicken nutritional needs, you can supplement more of the appropriate things. Growing chicks need at least 18% protein and laying hens about 16% so if you add things that are low in protein like scratch grains, they won't be getting enough protein.

    I don't know where you're located so I don't know what you consider cold.

    When the weather is freezing here, I do make sure they have warm water. I sprout their grains (ups the nutrients) and keep the sprouts warm in the house till I feed them.
    I like to let the birds fill up with their chicken feed first thing in the morning so I know they're getting appropriate nutrition.
    If given the choice, they'll eat exclusively cracked corn and noodles. However that wouldn't benefit them in the long run.

    When It's extremely cold like single digits or sub-zero, energy is more important so I will give some grains first thing in the morning and then again before dusk so they are digesting when on the roost at night. In winter my scratch grains are mixed wheat, barley and sunflower seeds. (SS are high in protein and vitamins)

    Chickens have very high body temperature so it doesn't take long for them to heat up the food or grains they eat. IMO warm water is more important.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  3. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Doesn't warm water add to the humidity in the coop? I know you are supposed to keep the inside as dry as possible.
     
  4. shetoe

    shetoe Out Of The Brooder

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    I am located in North Carolina. Tonight and tomorrow night are suppose to be in the single digits but this is very unusal.I have been giving warm water but also warm foods such as what I said the also the grains at the same time.So I should give grains first then later give warm oatmeal etc....?Our temps do run in the 20's in the winter. Cold enough to freeze their water if any left in their containers.
     
  5. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday it was 43 degrees, I added alot of extra bedding, upped food/water, and double checked all of my insulation, wraps etc..my coop and chickens seemed safe and warm enough. Now it is 8 degrees, wind chill -20 to -30 and temp is due to drop another 10 degrees. Now I feel like I have not done enough :-(
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    You're right, absolutely keep the coop as dry as possible. I don't give them water in the coop. They don't eat or drink when they're sleeping.
    I do keep feed in the coop so they can have a bite if they come off the roost before I can let them out.

    I have huge ventilation so inside air is same humidity as ambient (which is always high anyway).

    It's -6 here now and won't be above zero today. I'm still concerned with all the treats in the morning that they won't get enough balanced feed throughout the day. First thing in the morning they fill their crop and that lasts several hours. I would give a handful of grain for high energy and then let them fill up on chicken feed.
    A heated dog bowl or a rubber dog bowl with a birdbath heater works well. There are also heated chicken water founts that keep water thawed but IMO they are poorly designed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  7. shetoe

    shetoe Out Of The Brooder

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    well I have a dumb question then if it rains where would I feed and water them if they only have an open run? I am not trying to be a smartypants so I hope it doesnt come across that way. So I need to remove all food and water in the house except a little at night.They have excess to the the outside in the mornings before I feed which is usally around 8ish. Their run is covered because of the hawks,coons and other things that go bump in the night.Remember I am a newbie so I learn things that I should be doing and things I shouldnt be doing all the time.
     
  8. CuteChick369

    CuteChick369 Out Of The Brooder

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    Most of the nation is experiencing record lows and we are in NC too. I gave them warm oatmeal this morning and do on mornings where it dips below freezing. I'm not extremely worried about nutrition when I do this very rarely. I'd rather they feel warm and enjoy the snack on a cold day where they won't get to forage much. If I was up north and giving them warm treats daily, I'd worry more.

    As for rain, I have that problem too. My chickens have a pretty small coop and they just don't go inside it during the day at all. I put their food and water under the carport when it rains (they free range in our "urban" back yard - fenced in back yard). If it looks like they want to hang out under the coop - I'll put it there. Your chickens are going to want shelter from the rain, so whatever shelter they choose, put the food and water there. :)
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    No problem, that's why you're here I assume. To learn. I sometimes come across as a little more stern and less 'lovey dovey' (like many here) but I mean well. I just don't think I should be wasting any one's time. Remember the Dragnet line, 'Just the facts ma'am'?
    I usually feed in the coop, especially if rain is imminent. I have bulk feeders in all but one unit. One coop, I can't, so I put a rain deflector over it and always bring it in at night. One run has a roof so that one is easy. Keeping the food in the coop keeps wild birds at bay. The chickens will go in when they're hungry.

    They don't need any food or water at night. Once it gets dark, they can't see, so they won't move till dawn. Feeding at 8 when you let them out is fine this time of year. In summer they may want to come out earlier. Their lives revolve around daylight (hemeral days).
    Bringing the food in at night will help reduce vermin, i.e. mice, rats, opossums, raccoons, roaches, etc..
     
  10. hennchick

    hennchick Out Of The Brooder

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    I keep cracked corn and pellets in their coop. If I feed scraps or oatmeal I put it in the run with their water.
    I bought them suet with sunflowers in it and hung it in their coop. (Is that okay) it gives them something to peck at on the days they don't want to spent much time out in the run.
     

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